Sweet Ringo

Ringo Starr is my neighbor. Nobody except him ever enters or leaves his apartment yet every night I hear loud, Liverpudlian sex. Then crying. All night, every night: sex and crying. He must not know that the walls are paper thin. Sometimes, if he stands before his lamp just so, he is silhouetted on my wall—like an egg in front of a lit candle. Because of this I learned he has a third arm. A small third arm, like that of a T-Rex. I imagine this would be advantageous for a drummer, but in all these years I have never heard him drum. As far as I can tell, he is not sad for the Beatles. I listen. That band is never mentioned. Despite his many tears and passions and ideals, he is a sober man. He lets his phone ring and ring.

Ringo Starr has sex for hours but I wonder with whom. I imagine the third arm is advantageous. It is not pornography played loudly: the woman screams his name. His real name is Richard Starkey. She screams Ringo! Richard! Dick! She is a filthy woman. He deserves much better. If I turn out my lights I can smell her.

Ringo Starr is a very bad driver. He crashes inexpensive cars almost daily. Probably this is because his mind is always occupied with big ideas and plans for our betterment as a species. One day his car will return to his space with a cracked windshield, the next day a dented bumper, then he’ll have an eventful day and return home with the car leaking fluids, hardly steerable, smashed, scratched, and dented all over—until he can drive it no longer. At least once a month there’s a new cheap car in his space. His celebrity status must get him out of tickets. Our city has no public transport. I want to offer him a ride, but then he’d be obliged to reciprocate, and I fear riding in his passenger seat.

Ringo Starr moves his bowels only once every nine or ten days—and when he finally does, he apologizes to his turds before flushing them. Such is his empathy, but I worry for his health. Eat more salad, I want to say but don’t. Some nights I hear dancing—clomp clomp—but no music. Never music. I think he has become disillusioned about music, its inability to initiate real change, despite all that it promises. As a courtesy, I too refrain from playing music. I have gathered that his chief horror is that he wants to be neither buried nor cremated. I would suggest a sea burial to him, but I’m afraid it would solve his indecision, and then he might allow himself to die, and then whose fault would it be but mine?

I have gathered more: Ringo Starr wants the Constitution changed so he can run for President. He will make healthy food taste good and unhealthy food taste bad. He will make all rivers reverse direction so the oceans will empty themselves onto the land and the seabed will be exposed so mankind may live on it and thus the world will seem new. Then he will outlaw dishonesty. He will invite the moon to come closer. Every night I hear him speak of these plans yet he never begins trying to enact them. Instead it’s sex and tears. Every night I tell myself, Tomorrow I will knock on his door. Tomorrow I will offer my assistance. Tomorrow things will begin to change and never stop changing. Ringo, I will say, sweet Ringo, tell me how I can help.